Creative children show kindness to the planet

New Earth Club member Lillie Penhale models her Trash Planet Wings – which the club will teach others to make at Fareham Creative Space. PHOTO/EMMA McDOUGALL

Erin Kavanagh Hall

A group of environmentally conscious Wairarapa youth are planning an event they hope will be an antidote to environmental waste and the stress of Covid-19.

The New Earth Club, a children’s group dedicated to upcycling art projects and raising awareness of environmental issues, is hosting a family event in Featherston – with a focus on ‘turning trash into treasure’.

The event, taking place this weekend at Fareham Creative Space, will feature outdoor craft workshops on making wearable art from “recycled odds and ends” followed by a fashion show.

It concludes with a performance by dancers of various ages and skill levels representing both Featherston’s Tangle Community Dance Company and StarJam.

The New Earth Club, which started last year with support from Carterton-based artist, writer and Tangle dance teacher Justine Kingdon, is a place for young people to learn the value of upcycling – by making art projects with items that would otherwise be found the landfill would be controlled.

Kingdon said the kids wanted to hold regular events so they could share their ethos of being creative and being kind to the environment with their peers.

“They wanted to share with others the things that matter most to them and the experiences we shared together,” Kingdon said.

“We also wanted to show people that recycling is infinitely creative and artistic – while also being kind to the planet.

“Plus it’s going to be a fun family outing – a great antidote to all the shit that’s happening with Covid. It’s going to be damn nice.”

The New Earth Club meets once a week at Fareham House – where members can try their hand at projects such as and tin cans.

The children have also worked on upcycling clothing, toys and various trinkets donated by Featherston’s Op Shop.

Recently, Kingdon said the youngsters had been researching endangered New Zealand wildlife – and brainstorming projects to save endangered species from extinction.

“They are so passionate about making a difference – they believe it is their special job.

“These kids are the leaders of tomorrow, and we need to empower them to stand up for the things they believe in.”

At this weekend’s event, club members will lead workshops on making “Trash Planet Wings” from a variety of recyclable materials, which children can model in the runway show.

The Tangle and StarJam dance performance, choreographed by Kingdon, will also have an environmental theme – focusing on the need to continue protecting the planet even in the face of Covid.

Kingdon said vaccination certificates are not required to attend the event – but as it takes place outdoors family bubbles can social distancing.

The New Earth Club event will be held on Sunday, March 6th at 80 Underhill Rd. Featherston, from 2 p.m.

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